Key takeaways

  • Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, TechRepublic, and Master of Project Academy offer the best online training programs to develop managers’ leadership skills.
  • If none of the prebuilt management training programs fit your business’s requirements, consider investing in a learning management system that allows you to build custom training courses.
TechnologyAdvice is able to offer our services for free because some vendors may pay us for web traffic or other sales opportunities. Our mission is to help technology buyers make better purchasing decisions, so we provide you with information for all vendors — even those that don’t pay us.

Featured Partners

Top 7 management training programs

All of the management training programs in this list have clear incentives, such as certifications, degrees, or badges that support career growth opportunities.

1. Coaching Skills for Managers

Coaching Skills for Managers is an online specialization program from Coursera and UC Davis that focuses on helping managers improve their skills in employee coaching and related skills like communication and active listening. The course teaches coaching best practices and concrete conversational skills for managers, and it includes an entire section on setting clear expectations and managing performance in a culture of accountability.

After users complete all four courses, they will earn a career certificate from UC Davis that can be shared on LinkedIn, resumes, and other professional documents. Alternatively, managers have the option to complete just one course if they’re only interested in that topic.

Coaching Skills for Managers
Program structure Four courses, 20 lessons
Provider University of California, Davis via Coursera
Best for New and experienced managers who want to learn effective performance management techniques
Main topics Coaching, performance management, accountability, setting expectations, active listening, and communication
Cost Included in Coursera Plus (starting at $59/month); free audit without certification
Program duration Self-paced (two months estimated at 10 hours per week)
Prerequisites None

2. Organizational Leadership in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Organizational Leadership in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is a Coursera specialization program from Rice University that focuses on specifics like DEI strategic planning and DEI program assessment. The course collection also trains managers and other business leaders on how to foster a more inclusive workplace environment and how to plan and execute DEI interventions. Managers who complete this set of courses will earn a career certificate from Rice University.

Organizational Leadership in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Program structure Four courses, 20 lessons
Provider Rice University via Coursera
Best for DEI leaders, HR leaders, and others who play a role in shaping company culture
Main topics DEI, organizational DEI, DEI interventions, cultural climate, and creating an inclusive workplace
Cost Included in Coursera Plus (starting at $59/month); free audit without certification
Program duration Self-paced (one month estimated at six hours per week)
Prerequisites Though not required, learners should have an existing understanding of DEI and DEI programming

3. AI for Business Leaders

AI for Business Leaders is a set of two courses from Udacity that gives concrete examples and training to business leaders who want to embed machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) into their business workflows, tools, and practices.

The program includes a blend of online learning and real-world project opportunities to train users in basic AI/ML knowledge, AI ethics and bias detection, and other skills that are necessary for developing internal AI initiatives and policies. This is considered a nano-degree program and culminates in a completion certificate.

AI for Business Leaders
Program structure Two courses, 11 lessons
Provider Udacity
Best for Managers and leaders looking to incorporate AI into business workflows in a sustainable, strategic, and ethical way
Main topics Artificial intelligence, machine learning, AI architecture, big data and data best practices, AI ethics, and developing an AI strategy for your business
Cost Included in Udacity subscription (starting at $249/month)
Program duration Self-paced (two months estimated)
Prerequisites No prior experience required

4. New Manager: The Basics and More of Being a Great Leader

New Manager: The Basics and More of Being a Great Leader is a management training course from Udemy delivered via blended materials that include on-demand videos, articles, and downloadable learning resources.

The program focuses on how employees can shift from specialist to manager effectively, how to give and receive feedback effectively, how to manage conflict and group dynamics, how to set up employees for success in their performance, and more. Upon course completion, students receive a certificate of completion.

New Manager: The Basics and More of Being a Great Leader
Program structure One course, 20 lessons
Provider Udemy
Best for New managers
Main topics New manager training, management vs. leadership, giving and receiving feedback, communication, conflict management, delegation, coaching, decision making, and time management
Cost $24.99 (one time, regularly $129.99); included in Udemy subscription (starting at $20/month)
Program duration Seven hours and 18 minutes
Prerequisites No prior experience required

5. Project Management Professional Certification Training

Master of Project Academy’s PMP Certification Online Training Bundle prepares project managers with the material and knowledge they need to pass the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam.

The program includes self-paced certification training, lectures, PMP practice questions, cheat sheets, and nine sample exams to help students prepare for the test. There are also 20 real-world situational project cases, which help to give project managers the scenario-based skills they need to handle different types of projects and project issues. 

Project Management Professional Certification Training
Program structure Three courses, 300+ lectures
Provider Master of Project Academy
Best for Project managers, product managers, team leads
Main topics Project management, people management, process management, agile and hybrid project management, and strategic goal management
Cost Starting at $117/month; annual subscription and lifetime access options available
Program duration 60+ hours
Prerequisites Basic project management knowledge and experience recommended

6. Interpersonal Skills for Elite Leaders & Project Managers

Interpersonal Skills for Elite Leaders & Project Managers is a management training program from TechRepublic Academy that gives users lifetime access to courses on verbal and nonverbal communication best practices and increasing profesisonal influence. Students receive a certificate after completing these courses.

Interpersonal Skills for Elite Leaders & Project Managers
Program structure One course, 21 lectures
Provider TechRepublic Academy
Best for New managers and project managers working with new team dynamics.
Main topics Interpersonal skills and relationship building, nonverbal body language and cues, verbal cues, and telephonic conversations
Cost $19.99 (one time), regularly $80
Program duration One hour
Prerequisites No prior experience required

7. Effective Delegation for New Managers

Effective Delegation for New Managers is a Udemy management training course that specializes in teaching new leaders how to better manage their own schedules through effective task delegation. The goal of a course like this is to help new managers move from successful individual contributors into the role of a manager who knows what work to complete and what work to pass off to members of their team.

Some of the specific skills that this program focuses on include manager-to-employee communication, how to avoid common delegation errors, and how to develop your direct reports for succession planning. This course includes a certificate of completion.

Effective Delegation for New Managers
Program structure One course, five lessons
Provider Udemy
Best for New managers, especially those who are managing former peers on the same team
Main topics Task delegation, personal and professional development, developing subordinates’ skills, communication, setting clear goals, and giving feedback
Cost $14.99 (one time, regularly $64.99); included in Udemy subscription (starting at $20/month)
Program duration 36 minutes
Prerequisites No prior experience required

Tips and best practices for implementing management training programs

Managers are often put into positions where they need to solve both business and interpersonal problems within their project teams, not to mention client-facing problems, so it’s important to give them training that helps them develop necessary business and cultural competencies in all of these areas.

Scenario-based training, live training, and other hands-on training formats are the best ways to build these creative problem-solving skills, as managers are given an opportunity to test and hone their existing skills for conflicts they may not have faced in prior roles.

New managers are in a completely different place in their career than experienced managers, and a good management training program recognizes the need for tiered training paths. Consider providing training programs or different courses that address their unique challenges and levels of expertise.

Additionally, make it clear how these programs fit into different phases of a manager’s career and their opportunities for further growth; you can do this by designating specific courses as required or encouraged milestones in your competency frameworks, career roadmaps, and any other documentation you use to illustrate how employees can grow in their careers.

Leaders in different kinds of businesses will have unique roles and responsibilities and should receive training that reflects those responsibilities. For example, PMP and project management training may be helpful for managers in consulting and service-driven industries, while more generic training programs are a better fit for managers in other industries.

Ultimately, don’t pick a one-size-fits-all management training program if a specialized program is a better fit. Also, pay attention to greater industry and workplace trends, such as AI, which may impact the topics you choose to focus on in management and leadership training going forward.

Managers are more likely to complete management training if it factors into their growth potential with the organization. To show how important this training is to the organization as a whole, build training milestones into promotion paths and find other ways to offer relevant training that builds on-the-job skills that interest your managers.

Managers may also prefer to complete courses that come with certification and degree opportunities, badges, or gamified rewards.

Invest in LMS software to build your own training program

If you desire a more customized training program or have an in-house learning and development team that wants to craft a unique training plan, many learning management system (LMS) solutions give users the ability to build their own training programs and courses.

Some of the benefits of building your own training program with LMS software include the option for more flexible training formats, easier in-house assessments of training performance, and the ability to monitor training progress at an individual and organizational level.

If you’re not sure where to start in your search for LMS software, 360Learning, TalentLMS, and Docebo are all LMS solutions that enable users to create their own courses and training paths.

Explore more LMS options →

TalentLMS displays a dialogue box with configuration options for a conflict management training course.
TalentLMS is an example of an LMS that makes it possible to create tailored management training courses. Source: TalentLMS

Management training FAQs

Management training programs are online, in-person, and/or hybrid training programs that focus on building skills that are necessary for managers to thrive when interacting with their direct reports, executive leaders, company stakeholders, and clients and customers. Because managers are shifting from individual contributors to roles with greater organizational leadership requirements, many trainings go beyond the technical skills of that department and focus on soft skills and emotional intelligence.

A management training program gives managers clear objectives and scenario-based ideas about how to effectively interact with, assess, advocate for, and build up other members of their team in a way that contributes to the business’s growth and positive culture. Management training programs also give managers a clearer picture of how to do their jobs, particularly in difficult situations like conflict mediation, task delegation, or sales cycles with clients.